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Friday, Apr 20, 2018

Ballad Health Foundation to host Wine Women & Shoes to support breast cancer screening programs

BRISTOL, Va. – Eleven weeks after giving birth to her third child, Stephanie Brown was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer – at only 31 years old.

“It was supposed to be such a happy time, but our world was turned upside down,” said Brown, who received all her cancer care from Ballad Health facilities in Bristol. “Since I was still breastfeeding, we initially thought my symptoms were mastitis. But after an ultrasound, we found out I had a mass in my breast and in my lymph nodes.”

Two years later, Brown has successfully completed treatment and reconstructive surgery, and she feels well enough to take the stage at an upcoming event that will help other women detect breast cancer in earlier, more treatable stages.

Brown will be a fashion model at Ballad Health Foundation’s fourth annual Wine Women & Shoes, held Saturday, April 28, from 2-5 p.m. at the Virginian Golf Club in Bristol, Virginia. Proceeds from this event will help the foundation enhance its breast cancer screening programs by providing more 3D mammograms, breast MRI tests, BRCA 1 and 2 genetic analyses and genetic panels.

“The first step in fighting cancer is to detect it, but so many women in our region are unable to afford potentially life-saving screenings,” said Clay Rolston, executive director of Ballad Health Foundation. “That’s what makes Wine Women & Shoes so special: Women are coming together to provide valuable resources to others in need.”

In 2017, Wine Women & Shoes attracted 277 attendees and raised more than $155,000 for these screenings, enough to fund 770 mammograms to women in need.

Wine Women & Shoes will offer opportunities for exclusive shopping and hours of entertainment. All participants will receive a complimentary photo and a swag bag filled with various promotional items and gift certificates at the end of the event. Wine tasting and heavy appetizers will be available throughout the afternoon.

Attendees can participate in contests and drawings for a high-end designer purse, trip to Napa Valley or top-dollar bottles of wine, as well as bid in silent and live auctions. Women can also be included in The Best in Shoe Awards, which will be split into four categories: stilettos, wedges, flats and boots. The winner of each category will receive a $100 Zappos gift card.

To close out the event, Brown, along with other survivors and Ballad Health physicians and team members who care for breast cancer patients, will take to the stage for a fashion show.

“I’m definitely excited to participate in this event and do my part to help other women detect breast cancer early,” Brown said. “Following my diagnosis, we discovered I have the BRCA 1 gene, which means other women in my family are at a higher risk for developing breast cancer.

“My nieces, daughters and other female family members now know they need to be proactive about their breast health and routine screenings, which might save one of their lives someday. And knowing Wine Women & Shoes helps fund these genetic tests and breast screenings, which gives other women the chance to fight their cancer early, means everything to me.”

Wine Women & Shoes is presented by Alpha Natural Resources and raises funds through ticket sales, event sponsorships, auctions and raffles and assistance from a special group of local men called Shoe Guys. These volunteers are on-hand during the event to pour wine, sell raffle tickets and help facilitate women’s shopping experiences.

They’re also competing to receive the most donations in their names before the event, with the winner being crowned the Wine Women & Shoes King of Sole. A list of the Shoe Guys, with a biography and the opportunity for people to donate to their preferred choice, is available at

“Passionate, caring people from our communities make it possible for Ballad Health and Ballad Health Foundation to provide necessary screenings, tests and support for women in our region,” Rolston said. “Through Wine Women & Shoes, we’re helping hundreds of mothers, daughters, sisters and friends live out their dreams – by outliving cancer.”

Tickets are available for $100 per person and $150 for sole sisters (two tickets). VIP individual tickets are $150, and VIP sole sisters tickets are $250. A VIP table (six tickets) is also available for $1,000. Those who have VIP tickets receive reserved seating, an upgraded swag bag and valet parking.

To purchase tickets or learn more about Wine Women & Shoes, please visit

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